Can I claim compensation for a road accident without a seatbelt?
Most people know that they can make a claim for compensation following a road accident that was not their fault. However, you may be wondering “can I claim compensation if I was not wearing a seatbelt?”. The simple answer is yes you can still make a personal injury claim for an injury you sustained in a road accident without a seatbelt but the case will be more complicated and the amount of compensation you may receive will be reduced.
During not wearing a seatbelt accident claims, the defence may use contributory negligence as part of their defence of any whiplash or other injury claim that you are bringing. This means that they will say that your actions caused your injury or at least added to it. It will be up to you and your personal injury lawyer to prove that the injury would have been just as bad had you been wearing your seatbelt.
Due to the complicated nature of road accident without a seatbelt claims, you should call Legal Expert to help guide you through the process. Our panel of expert personal injury solicitors are well practiced in seatbelt injury compensation claims so call us today on 0800 073 8804 to speak to a member of our team.
For more information on how to claim compensation for a road accident without a seatbelt, then this guide should tell you all you need to know.
Select a section
- A Guide to Claiming for Car Accident Injuries with No Seat Belt
- What Are Car Accident Injuries with No Seat Belt?
- UK Seatbelt Laws and Your Responsibility
- Can I Claim If I Wasn’t Wearing A Seatbelt?
- What Is Contributory Negligence in Personal Injury Claims?
- How Is Liability Established and Apportioned in A Road Accident Without A Seatbelt?
- How Is Compensation Calculated in A Road Accident Without A Seatbelt?
- Am I Eligible to Make A Compensation Claim
- What Could My Road Accident Without A Seatbelt Claim Include?
- Calculating Compensation in A Not Wearing A Seatbelt Accident
- No Win No Fee Compensation Claims
- Why Make Your Claim with Us?
- How to Contact Our Team
- Useful Links
If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault then you have a legal right to claim compensation for that injury. Many people are mistaken in thinking that if any of the blame for that injury lies with themselves, such as road accident without a seatbelt injuries for example, they will not be entitled to any compensation at all. But even if your own actions contributed towards the severity of the injury, you are still entitled to file a personal injury claim if the accident itself was due to another person’s negligence and it could have been avoided.
When you claim compensation for a road accident without a seatbelt, you must be able to prove that the injuries you sustained would have occurred even if you were wearing a seatbelt. The defence may argue contributory negligence, saying that your actions were to blame for your whiplash injury or other injury sustained. But this should not put you off contacting a personal injury solicitor and making a claim for seat belt injury compensation.
This guide will give you all the information you need to know about road accident without a seat belt claims and what processes you will need to go through. It will explain what is contributory negligence and also outline what costs you can include in your claim as well as tell you what are the legal consequences of not wearing a seatbelt.
If you have any further questions once you have read this guide then call Legal Expert and our team can help you with any further enquiries and get you connected to a specialised personal injury lawyer.
Being in a car accident as either a driver or passenger is a traumatic event. You can suffer a range of injuries with one of the most common being whiplash. This injury occurs when the force of a collision in the car forces your head to snap forwards and then back quickly causing an injury to the neck. This can be incredibly painful and take several months or even years to overcome, depending on the severity of the injury.
More serious road collisions can result in broken bones, fractures to the face or limbs, open wounds and even paralysis or death. UK seat belt law requires any driver or passenger in a vehicle to be wearing a seat belt at all times as statistics show that a front seat passenger reduces their chance of dying in a road accident by 45% when wearing a seatbelt. Seat belts are also 50% more likely to reduce the chance of a passenger sustaining serious or critical injuries.
However, if you were injured in a road accident without a seatbelt then you are still legally entitled to claim compensation for your injury if the accident was not your fault or was the fault of someone else’s negligence.
In the UK, the law states that you must wear a seatbelt if one is fitted in any motor vehicle with only a handful of exceptions. These exceptions include if you are the driver and you are reversing, if you are a delivery driver driving a distance of less than 50 meters, if you are a taxi driver picking up a fayre and if you have a medical exemption certificate from a doctor.
In all other cases you must wear a seatbelt and you will be fined £500 if you are found not to be wearing one. As a driver, it is also your responsibility to ensure any children in your vehicle are wearing a seatbelt and also to ensure that a child under 12, or under 135cm tall, is seated in an appropriate child seat.
Although UK seat belt law states it is a legal requirement to wear a seat belt when driving or a passenger in a moving motor vehicle, you are still entitled to make a personal injury claim if you have been injured in a road accident without a seatbelt if the accident was not your fault.
After suffering a road accident without a seatbelt and sustaining an injury, many people wonder “can I claim if I wasn’t wearing a seat belt?” as they tend to feel partially to blame for their own injury. If the accident was not their fault then the simple answer is yes, you can still claim for a personal injury whilst not wearing a seatbelt although the following case will not be simple and straightforward.
While you are legally entitled to make a personal injury claim following a road accident without a seatbelt, the defence will argue that you caused your own injuries due to not following UK seat belt laws and ensuring that you were buckled up. This is a defence called contributory negligence and you will need to show that you would have sustained the injuries regardless of whether or not you had been wearing a seatbelt.
Once you can show liability for the accident lies with another person, and that you would have still sustained your injuries had you been wearing your seatbelt, then you should still receive some level of compensation for your whiplash injury or other injury sustained in the accident.
Contributory negligence is the defence most commonly offered up by the defendant in personal injury claims resulting from a road accident without a seatbelt. This defence alleges that the claimant is partially, if not fully, responsible for their injuries in this case for not wearing a seatbelt. The defendant may allege that by not wearing your seat belt, you have caused your injuries such as whiplash, fractures or spinal damage, to be more severe than they would have should you have been wearing your seatbelt.
The law regarding contributory negligence as a result of not wearing a seat belt was developed in the Froom v Butcher case in 1976. While the judge ruled that the defendant did indeed cause the accident and therefore was responsible for the defendant’s injuries, he noted that had the defendant been wearing his seat belt, his injuries would not have been as severe. In this case the judge awarded compensation in favour of the defendant but reduced the amount he would receive by 25% as a result.
In your own contributory negligence personal injury claim, the defence attorney may argue that your injuries would have been less severe if you had been wearing your seat belt and your own personal injury lawyer will argue that you would have been injured nonetheless. It will come down to the judge’s decision about how much not wearing a seatbelt influenced the severity of your injury as to how much deductions he may place on any compensation you are awarded.
If you have had a road accident without a seatbelt then there may liability on both sides when it comes to the extend to which you have been injured. However, under common law in the UK, al drivers have a duty of care to drive carefully when on the road. If a driver has caused and accident and breached that duty then the liability for the accident lies solely with the driver.
The negligence of the driver means that they are liable for any injuries suffered by other parties who were involved in the accident. If you can prove negligence on behalf of another driver then you will be entitled to claim compensation, whether or not you were wearing a seatbelt at the time.
In personal injury claims following a road accident without a seatbelt, compensation is usually still awarded to the claimant if they can prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident to occur in the first place. However, the amount of compensation the defendant may receive can be reduced if the defence is successful in proving contributory negligence; if they can prove that by not wearing your seat belt, you contributed to the severity of your injuries.
The amount that your claim may be reduced by depends on how much your decision to not wear a seat belt impacted on your injury;
- If a judge finds that you would not have suffered any injury, or only minor injuries, had you been wearing your seatbelt then the seat belt injury compensation will be reduced by 25%
- If it is found that your injuries would still have occurred but have been less severe then your compensation amount will be reduced by 15%
- If your personal injury solicitor can successfully prove that you would have suffered the same injuries regardless of whether you had been wearing a seat belt then your compensation amount will not be reduced at all
These are the levels of compensation reduction in cases of a road accident without a seatbelt that were set out in the Froom v Butcher case of 1976.
If you have been injured as a result of a road traffic accident that was due to the fault of someone else then you are eligible to make a compensation claim as long as you are still within the personal injury claims time limit. You have three years from the date of the accident, or the date your injury was diagnosed, which may be later in cases such as whiplash which is not always obvious straight away.
If you were a child when the accident occurred, or are claiming on behalf of a child, then the three-year personal injury claims time limit does not begin until the child turns 18.
If you believe you have a claim for compensation following a road accident without a seatbelt then call the team at Legal Expert today to discuss your case.
Just like any other personal injury claim, your road accident without a seatbelt claim can include a range of costs which you have incurred as a result of being injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault. Some of the most common costs included in claims are;
- General damages- this is the amount awarded for your pain and suffering which has been caused as a direct result of your injury
- Special damages- this can include damage to property and loss of earnings resulting from time off work. If your injury has meant you will miss out on future job opportunities then you may be able to include loss of potential earnings in this category
- Medical expenses- if you have had to pay for private medical treatment such as physio, visits to chiropractors or a counsellor to help with the emotional trauma, then you can include these costs in your claim
- Care costs- if as a result of your injury, you now require a care package then you can include the cost of this in your claim also
The amount of compensation you receive is evaluated on an individual basis but you can include costs such as these as part of your claim in order to make your life post-injury more comfortable.
All personal injury claims are assessed on an individual basis and any compensation awarded is done so depending on a range of factors. The most important factor a judge will consider is the severity of the injury and the impact that injury has had on the victim’s ability to live their normal life.
While we cannot give you specific figures on how much a claim following a road accident without a seatbelt may be worth, this table below should give you a good indication of how much seat belt injury compensation can vary depending on the severity of the injury.
|Type of injury
|Potential compensation amount
|Severe neck injury
|Fractures or damage to the cervical tissue or discs leading to chronic conditions or permanent disability
|Between £39,800- £130,000
|Moderate neck injury
|Damage to cervical tissue or discs which cause serious conditions which will improve eventually but cause prolonged pain
|Between £12,000 – £34,000
|Mild neck injury
|Soft tissue injury or exacerbation of previous condition from which a full recovery is expected
|Between £2,100 – £6,900
|Severe back injury
|Damage to spinal cord or nerve damage resulting in permanent pain and disability
|Between £34,000 – £141,000
|Moderate back injury
|Damage to ligaments or crush fractures resulting in prolonged pain and suffering
|Between £24,300 – £34,000
|Mild back injury
|Strains, sprains and soft tissue damage where a full recovery is expected over time
|Between £2,100 – £10,900
|Paralysis in all four limbs, problems with internal organs and potential shortened life expectancy
|Between £284,600 – £354,300
|Partial paralysis often accompanied with pain and shortened life expectancy
|Between £192,000 – £250,000
The above figures show how much compensation amounts can differ depending on the severity of the injury as well as the impact that injury will have on the victim’s ability to live their day to day life.
If you have suffered an injury as the result of a road accident without a seatbelt and you want to find out how much your seat belt injury compensation claim could be worth then call Legal Expert today and we will connect you with a specialised personal injury lawyer who will be able to go through the details of your claim.
Many people are put off making personal injury claims for compensation as they are concerned about potentially large legal fees. This is especially the case with not wearing a seatbelt accident claims as the victim often believes that they may not win their case due to contributory negligence.
No win no fee claims take the worry out of making a claim for compensation as if your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay a penny. If your legal team win your compensation case on your behalf then their fees are taken from your compensation amount at a rate which you will have previously agreed so there are no hidden surprises.
If you want to make a claim for compensation following a road accident without a seatbelt then choosing a company to represent you who operates a no win no fee policy is the easiest and most stress-free way to go.
Making your road accident without a seatbelt claim with Legal Expert couldn’t be easier. Our helplines are open 7 days a week and our dedicated team are on hand to connect you with a trained personal injury lawyer who will be able to talk you through your claim and guide you through the compensation process.
We offer a free consultation so that you can receive quality legal advice about your personal injury claim before you decide whether or not to go ahead. You will be informed of an estimate as to how much your contributory negligence personal injury claim may be worth and if you do decide to go ahead with your claim with us, Legal Expert will arrange for a thorough medical examination to be carried out to assess the extent of your injuries.
Let us take the stress of making a personal injury claim off your shoulders so that you can focus on recovering from your road accident without a seatbelt and let our team fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our helplines are open from 9am – 9pm on 0800 073 8804 so call us today to speak to a member of our staff about your claim. Alternatively, you can fill out our contact form on our website and a member of our team will call you back as soon as possible at a time that is convenient for you.
Our guide may help you if you have been involved in complex car accidents.
This guide looks at whiplash more specifically
The law regarding the use of seatbelts in the UK.